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Free Ordinary and Extraordinary Walks Through Valencia - El Carmen

Updated on June 2, 2015

Be Amazed

Portal de la Valdigna
Portal de la Valdigna | Source

On a Sunday Afternoon

Valencia is a beautiful Spanish city of about 900.000 people. Its old city center and its neighborhood El Carmen is the area were I do my groceries.

These are the surroundings for buying my home made fideua (fee dee wa) and for drinking café con leche in one of the many bars.

When I'm a little bored on Sunday's, I walk out the door and start enjoying an ordinary walk through town, doing what I love to do. Enjoy life!

Even today after living here for six years, I still can't stop looking up and enjoy the different colors in my area. But some 15 years ago, no one really wanted to live in El Carmen. Famous at the time for its drugs and creepy alleys. The whole area needed to be reformed.

Here and there, you'll still find some buildings in very poor conditions with green nets hanging from top to bottom, to avoid falling debris, hitting you while you pass by. It's only a matter of time before they get reformed like all the others.

I love the romance of French balconies and plants hanging over and I am surprised for finding very modern buildings, in between very old and shabby ones.

Valencian Balcony

Source

How to prepare Fideua?

Walk With Me

The pictures I took while walking through town, were all taken in about 30 minutes.

From Plaza de la Virgen, I followed Calle Caballeros, then took the fourth street to the right into Calle de Landerer, at the end I walked underneath Portal de la Valldigna, to enter the street Calle del Portal de Valldigna.

Don't get confused while walking through these narrow streets over signs that say, Carrer del Portal de Valldigna or Carrer dels Cavallers (Caballeros).

Valencia has its own regional language/dialect, which looks a lot like the official Spanish but on most streets you'll see two different signs in the two different languages.

A markerValencia, Calle Caballeros -
Calle de Caballeros, Valencia, Spanje
get directions

Modern Versus Classic

Source

Calle Caballeros

Source

A Nice 30 Minute Walk

At the end of the street you'll find this modern building, across a home for elderly people.

They often sit near the entrance in wheelchairs, to greet anyone who's passing by.

Here you turn left into Calle Baja (Carrer de Baix) and walk all the way down to Calle Caballeros. Turn left again to go back to Plaza de la Virgen to complete the walk of 30 minutes.

Calle Caballeros is by far the most famous street of El Carmen. It's filled with restaurants, bars, little shops, museums, a theater, a bakery and souvenirs shops.

Basilica de la Virgen

When ending your walk, you'll see the the Basilica de la Virgen at the Virgen Square, inviting you to have a drink in front of it, while enjoying the sunset on one ot the many terraces.
When ending your walk, you'll see the the Basilica de la Virgen at the Virgen Square, inviting you to have a drink in front of it, while enjoying the sunset on one ot the many terraces. | Source

Party People All Year Round

Many people like living here though I would never rent an apartment in this street. Students, families, groups of friends and tourists especially walk around from 22.00 p.m. until 04.00 a.m. to enjoy nightlife and....to get drunk.

The afternoons are much more relaxed but I can't live relaxed for one part of the day and get stressed out for the other part.

In all honesty, Valencia is the perfect city to party until late, during almost every night of the week. Its climate is so comfortable during at leats 9 months a year, bringing Spanish from all over Spain and many party people from around the world, to enjoy the lifely ambiance of El Carmen.

A Hidden Palace for the Rich

Calle Caballeros
Calle Caballeros | Source

Palacio de la Generalitat

This is where the Presidency and the Government of Valencia holds its office.
This is where the Presidency and the Government of Valencia holds its office. | Source

Palaces and Posh Offices

On a Sunday afternoon it is totally different. It might even seem deserted to most tourists who walk around in the empty, perfectly silent city. Most Spanish enjoy their siesta or sleep all Sunday, while tourists pick their moment to visit The City of Arts and Sciences.

If you're lucky like me today, you get a quick peek into the good old days. On the picture above, there's a world opened to us, which we can only fantasize about.

These inside patios we're used by the proud owners of hidden palaces like these, to enter while riding their horses.

Until this day, many of these palaces are still in tact and used by rich families and if you almost complete your walk, you pass this impressive palace on the right. The two flags symbolize Valencia and Spain.

The government of Valencia sure knows, how to work in a posh environment, making it even more obvious where the money goes. Weekly demonstrations take place in front of 'their office' though this doesn't change a single thing.

Calle Caballeros

Don't you love the image of this street?
Don't you love the image of this street? | Source

Plaza de la Virgen/Virgen Square

Next to the Basilica de la Virgen, you'll find the Cathedral of Valencia.
Next to the Basilica de la Virgen, you'll find the Cathedral of Valencia. | Source

Hooked and Spoiled

Once you move to Valencia, trying to build a life and finding out about the different neighborhoods, you can choose to live outside the center in area's like Patraix or Canovas.

You get used to taking the bus to the center, pay for taxi's to get back home after a late night out and you'll pay less rent for more space.

Most foreigners though, fall in love with the center. Need I say more after walking with me through this part of town? What about having the daily chance, to enjoy a cup of coffee on this beautiful square with the spectacular view on the Basilica de la Virgen and the Cathedral?

To begin my life in Valencia, I lived in Canovas for a little while, then moved to Patraix which was nice too, but absolutely got addicted to where I live now.

Nothing can beat the real vibe of El Carmen, the walks through this area on an ordinary Sunday, knowing this is an extraordinary place to live at, feeling blessed whenever I walk out my door.

Am I spoiled? Yes, I sure am!

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    • RichieMogwai profile image

      Richie Mogwai 4 years ago from Vancouver

      thanks for sharing your walks and your hub, with us. Such fabulous pictures. You're so lucky, so blessed to be living where you are. It's one of my dreams to visit Europe someday, Spain in particular.

    • Escobana profile image
      Author

      Escobana 4 years ago from Valencia

      Your very welcome RichieMogwai!

      I'd be happy to show you around when you make your dream come true:-)

    • Natashalh profile image

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      What beautiful pictures! I think my next European vacation won't be to Spain (just because it's already planned for elsewhere), but perhaps the one after that!

    • Escobana profile image
      Author

      Escobana 4 years ago from Valencia

      Let's see if my next Hub can walk you through the rest of Valencia. It will help you for sure, to plan and go for it the next time:-)

      Thanks for walking by here Natashalh!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Beautiful for sure! Thank you for a great tour; maybe some day I will be able to visit.

    • Escobana profile image
      Author

      Escobana 4 years ago from Valencia

      Thanks Billy! Always a pleasure to see you here!

      Hasta luego guapo:-)

    • ImKarn23 profile image

      Karen Silverman 4 years ago

      i envy you your stunningly beautiful locale and life, my friend - you are a very lucky woman - and deservedly so!

      three years is not nearly enough time to become accustomed to such beauty and history!

      more like 3 centuries, i would think!

      THOSE PICTURES - whoaaaaaaaaaa...

      sharing, dear Escobana!

    • Lipnancy profile image

      Nancy Yager 4 years ago from Hamburg, New York

      Thanks for the walk through your incredible city. I am very jealous.

    • Escobana profile image
      Author

      Escobana 4 years ago from Valencia

      ImKarn, dear friend!

      I agree with you....3 Years is nothing and I feel so blessed for being able to discover more...every single day.

      I love showing friends around my city because they feel the same like I do....Amazed!

      Thanks for the sharing chica!

    • Escobana profile image
      Author

      Escobana 4 years ago from Valencia

      Thanks for walking with me Lipnancy:-)

      Hope you'll walk with me again in part two, though I think the jealousy won't get any less...LOL! I feel very privileged of course for being able to live in such a beautiful city....sigh...!

    • ARUN KANTI profile image

      ARUN KANTI CHATTERJEE 4 years ago from KOLKATA

      Thanks a lot for sharing your walks with us through such beautiful city you live in.Wish you a happy new year and more such creativities.

    • Escobana profile image
      Author

      Escobana 4 years ago from Valencia

      A very Happy New Year to you too Arun Kanti!

      I'll make sure to keep on writing while walking through 2013 and sharing more of these wonderful Sunday afternoons on here...

    • susi10 profile image

      Susan W 3 years ago from The British Isles, Europe

      Hola Escobana! Como estas?

      This is a fantastic hub, "muy bien"!

      I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I love Spanish culture, especially its streets and beautiful alleyways. It is so Latin! You have done a great job on this hub and I have learned a lot about this lovely city. I would love to visit Spain some day, I have been learning Spanish too.

      Yo puedo hablar un poco de Espagnol. Hasta luego, Escobana! :)

    • Escobana profile image
      Author

      Escobana 3 years ago from Valencia

      Hola Susi10,

      I'm glad to know you liked my walk around Valencia:-) It's really a beautiful place to live and very authentic still in comparison to Barcelona or Madrid.

      If you get the chance to visit Spain one day, try to compare Barcelona and Valencia and you'll see what I mean. And learning Spanish is great. Talking Spanish will make your holiday much easier in Spain because they hardly speak English in my city.

      Feliz ano nuevo y pasalo muy bien! Besitos Escobana!

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